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Around the diamond

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Note: All stats, unless otherwise noted, run through Saturday's games.

Make sure you play ... Jeff Clement, Seattle Mariners

Clement hasn't taken advantage of the playing time he's been given, but the superbly talented backstop has been swinging a hot stick of late, batting .368 over the last 12 games. I'm betting he'll have a strong close to the season.

Honorable mention: Javier Valentin, Cincinnati Reds (.304, 2 HR over the last two weeks)

Don't expect much from ... John Buck, Kansas City Royals

Buck hasn't even hit a buck at the plate over the last two weeks, as he's picked up just two hits in 40 at-bats (.050).

Honorable mention: Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers (.149 over the last two weeks

Make sure you play ... Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox

Paulie has shown signs of coming out of his season-long slump lately, with a .308-3-7 line over the last two weeks. The Sox are at home all week.

Honorable mention: Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox (.378-4-13 over the last two weeks)

Don't expect much from ... Daric Barton, Oakland A's

Barton just turned 23, so he has time to turn it around, but he's been a big disappointment in his rookie season, batting just .207 with five homers. He's hit only .130 over the last two weeks.

Honorable mention: Lyle Overbay, Toronto Blue Jays (.176 over the last two weeks)

Make sure you play ... Freddy Sanchez, Pittsburgh Pirates

Sanchez got off to a horrible start this year, but he's shown glimpses of his former batting champ self lately, hitting .390 over his last 22 games.

Honorable mention: Mark DeRosa, Chicago Cubs (.349-3-15 over the last two weeks)

Don't expect much from ... Esteban German, Kansas City Royals

German has been filling in for the injured Mark Grudzielanek, but he's provided the Royals and fantasy owners with little more than a warm body, as he's hit just .162 in August.

Honorable mention: Jeff Baker, Colorado Rockies (.129, no extra base hits this month)

Make sure you play ... Jed Lowrie, Boston Red Sox

The Sox rookie has been driving in runs by the truckload lately, with 18 ribbies in August. He's also hit .353 this month.

Honorable mention: Cesar Izturis, St. Louis Cardinals (.400, 5 SB over the last two weeks

Don't expect much from ... Jeff Keppinger, Cincinnati Reds

Keppinger was a surprise source of fantasy value in the early going, but he's been fighting it at the dish lately, with a .163 mark over the last two weeks.

Honorable mention: Cristian Guzman, Washington Nationals (.170 average this month; dealing with thumb injury)

Make sure you play ... Melvin Mora, Baltimore Orioles

You won't find a hotter hitter in baseball than Melvin, who, with Sunday's monster effort included, sports a .500 average with five homers and 26 RBIs in 15 games this month.

Honorable mention: Ty Wigginton, Houston Astros (.479-5-13 over the last two weeks)

Don't expect much from ... Andy LaRoche, Pittsburgh Pirates

LaRoche hasn't made a good impression with his new teammates in Pittsburgh, as he is hitting only .189 since arriving in the Steel City at the trade deadline.

Honorable mention: Edwin Encarnacion, Cincinnati Reds (.178 over the last two weeks)

Make sure you play ... Marlon Byrd, Texas Rangers

Batting .431 this month, Byrd is bound to come back to earth eventually, but continue to ride him while he's red hot. The Rangers are at home all week, where Marlon boasts a .328 average and 1.009 OPS this year.

Honorable mention: Randy Winn, San Francisco Giants (.464, 11 RBIs, 2 SB over the last two weeks)

Don't expect much from ... Jeremy Hermida, Florida Marlins

Hermida's fantasy owners were hoping the talented outfielder would kick it into high gear in the second half like he did last season, but so far that hasn't happened, as he's hitting only .191 with no homers this month.

Honorable mention: Michael Bourn, Houston Astros (.138, 0 SB over the last two weeks)

Make sure you play ... Oliver Perez, New York Mets

Perez fixed his delivery after a poor outing in late June, and the subsequent results have been undeniable, as he holds a 1.97 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with 63 strikeouts over his last nine starts, covering 59 1/3 innings.

Honorable mention: Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins (@ SF, @ ARI)

Don't expect much from ... Randy Wolf, Houston Astros

The Wolfman has pitched pretty well since arriving in Houston (3.63 ERA), but this week he's on the road against C.C. Sabathia and the Brewers and the red-hot Oliver Perez and the Mets.

Honorable mention: Doug Davis, Arizona Diamondbacks (7.22 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over his last six starts)